Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Bad breath
- Muscle cramps
- Fever and chills
- Food cravings (for salt and high carbohydrate foods)
Drinking too much water can also have a compounding negative health effect for your body. Over hydration may seem less of a health concern, but it can be a problem for individuals who are dieting, and using water as an alternative to healthy snacks and meals. The general rule is to not drink more than one liter per hour of water (or other hydrating beverages) to avoid placing additional stress on kidneys and other vital organs.
Symptoms of over hydration include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion or disorientation
An important fact to remember is that, while hydration does aid as an appetite suppressant, over hydration can lead to a dangerous drop in normal electrolytes (sodium level) called hyponatremia in the body, which if left untreated, can cause seizures, muscle weakness, unconsciousness and coma.
How much is enough?
In an average climate (non arid) and for normal, daily activities, the average male requires 13 cups of plain water for health and wellness, or approximately three liters per day. The average healthy adult woman requires nine cups of plain water, or roughly 2.2 liters per day for adequate intake (AI), according to the Institute of Medicine.
Tips to Make Daily Hydration Easy
Consider purchasing new, non-plastic reusable water containers (glass or medical grade aluminum) for work, at home and for the gym. Having an ample supply of safe water containers is not only better for the environment, it is convenient for people with busy schedules. Hydrate on-the-go while driving to work, watching television and especially when exerting yourself, as your body displaces fluid volume faster when engaged in aerobic exercise.
There are several free apps that you can download to your smart phone to help you train healthy hydration into your day. Improve your personal health and wellness by starting a healthy new habit of routine hydration. Individuals with health concerns should also consult regularly with their family physician to monitor unique hydration needs.
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